Category Archives: Technology

Two Birds, One Stone: Reduce Liability & Increase Loyalty

Checking IDs is commonly considered a necessary evil of serving alcohol.

It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. It’s just a step in the process. But this step can actually be turned into a huge asset to your bar or nightclub, especially with the right technology.

When you shift your thinking and equip yourself with the right tools, this very basic step becomes both your internal liability program as well as your external customer loyalty program.


The Legal Aspect

The liability and security side of checking IDs is always the most top-of-mind, particularly when it comes to verifying whether a guest is of age to drink. And from that aspect alone, having your staff manually review IDs is sufficient. But your liability decreases drastically when you equip that staff member with an ID scanning system. Here’s why:

  • It reduces the chances of honest human errors. Humans make mistakes even with the best intentions, such as incorrectly calculating someone’s age based on their date of birth. Having a quick license scan double verifies the guest’s age with a simple color coded alert of whether they’re over 21 or under 21. It makes it foolproof even under high stress situations.
  • It assists with easily passing stings. When authorities are checking to make sure you’re compliant, they legally cannot do so by using a fake ID or purposefully deceiving you. That means most stings are a result of incorrect math or laziness. Having a policy with an ID scan system corrects any mental mistakes and confirms all IDs are reviewed.
  • It aids in detecting fakes. Fake IDs are getting more complex, so having an ID scan system is just one more layer in the process of detecting a fake. Plus, in a worse-case scenario when you accidentally serve a minor, having a digital system is your paper trail to prove to authorities you didn’t purposefully serve that person and did the best of your ability to be compliant.
  • It digitally tracks your 86 list. Your seasoned staff may know immediately if a guest is banned and shouldn’t be let in, but your new employees likely won’t. Rather than memorizing a photo book of those who aren’t allowed, an ID scan system will automatically alert your employee if a guest is banned from the venue. Plus, if an incident occurs during the night, your staff can easily add that guest to your ban list so you always have the most up-to-date information to maintain a safe environment.
  • It alerts you of potentially unruly patrons. Some ID scan systems, like us at Vēmos, allows you to opt into a city-wide ban list. This means you’ll be alerted if a guest is banned at a nearby location along with the reason they were banned. You then use this information to make educated decisions on whether or not you want to let that guest into your venue.


  • Maintaining a secure environment minimizes costs associated with insurance, repairs, fines, and enforcement. What’s more is it provides an enjoyable atmosphere for your guests, which translates to a more profitable establishment. Which leads to the next aspect: loyalty.


    The Loyalty Aspect

    The not-so-obvious side of an ID scanning system is that it can become your loyalty program. And it can serve you better than most standalone loyalty programs can. Why? Because every guest needs to have their ID to drink. Not every guest is going to have your loyalty card or app. In fact, few consumers today want to have a separate loyalty card for every establishment they ever visit, so you’ll only capture a small percentage of your daily patrons.


    With an ID scanning system, you’re able to collect data on all of your guests. This goes well beyond their name, age and other demographic information. We’re talking behavioral data — how often that guests comes, what time of day they check in, how many visits they’ve had this month, what types of events or promotions drive them there, the list goes on. And when you connect your ID scanning system to your point of sale system, you unlock a whole new layer of behavioral information. Not to mention you get a ton of invaluable insights on what factors drives your business and which triggers to pull to repeat that business.


    It’s with this information that you’re able to reward your guests for doing what they’re already doing — simply showing up — and begin to offer them personalized service based on their habits. Notice it’s their 5th time coming in this month? Comp their first drink. Haven’t seen them in a while? Reach out to them about a special you think they’d enjoy. It’s these types of actions that build connections between consumers and brands, and drive true loyalty to your establishment.



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    Use Insights to Boost Profitability

    Can you confidently say your night is going to be profitable? Do you know how you’re trending this month based on results last month? Is your average cost per transaction lower than normal? These are valuable answers to know, yet most venues don’t have the resources necessary to uncover them. What’s even more frustrating is all of this information is right at your fingertips. Fortunately, there are solutions built for the nightlife industry that help you get a hold of your business to make you even more profitable. Here’s how you can do just that.

    1. Become Interconnected

    Running off pen & paper isn’t helping your venue in the long-run. Having different systems for different sections of your venue isn’t helping either. The way you truly understand how your venue is performing is by being interconnected across all areas of your venue. Think about the different solutions you use in your venue. There are point of sale systems, reservation management software, event & ticketing software, employee scheduling programs, customer relationship management systems…the list goes on. But unless these technologies are programmed to connect to each other, the data and processes will ultimately be useless. Why bother with 5 different technologies if it’s going to add 5 different processes? That’s wasted time with duplicated effort, wasted time with manual data entry, and lost data between the systems.

    The key ingredient to a successful platform is one that’s integrated into all areas so you can be fully interconnected. Look for a comprehensive venue management platform, like us at Vēmos, that automatically has integration functionality built within it. This is what allows you to manage, understand, and grow your business from a single dashboard.

    2. Use Data to Become Predictable

    Once everything is connected in the right system, you have access to all your data in one place. This means you’ll be able to predict how your night is going to go based on historical data. Do you consistently get slammed around the same time? Staff accordingly. What issues have you experienced in the past? Fix those issues with processes. How many people have signed up for your guest list, made a reservation, or indicated they may be a general admission walk-up? What were the results of past nights similar to this one? This all helps you predict what your night is going to be like. Pre-selling inventory is another great way to make your nights predictable. It also helps you to understand how far in advance people tend to pre-purchase and whether you’re on target to hit your numbers.

    3. Decrease unnecessary costs

    Just as your past data helps you understand if you need to boost staff and processes, it also tells you when to decrease unnecessary costs. Do you need to have as many servers as you do working at 8 pm when you consistently don’t get busy until 11? Do you need to pay your promoters a per-guest fee when the guests they bring in don’t end up spending anything once inside your venue? Know where you’re over spending and cut costs accordingly so that the money you are spending is going toward better ways to increase your profitability.

    4. Turn Marketing into an Investment

    Speaking of knowing where you’re over spending, marketing is one of those places you’re likely throwing money in the wrong places. But when you track your marketing efforts, you’re able to see exactly what drives traffic and results. So while a third-party website may claim to have garnered you 100,000 impressions, you know that it actually only got you 3 clicks and $0 in return. Now you know not to spend money there in the future and redistribute those dollars toward activities you know work for you. Having a system that tracks it all allows you to easily see what you get in return of what you put in. This not only saves you from wasting your dollars, but helps to bring in more money than before, turning your marketing from an expense and into an investment.

    5. See it All Come Together

    When you use one system to track all areas, you have a clear understanding of exactly what’s happening in your venue without having to log into multiple data systems. Now, you can easily track:

    • How much money you made over a given time period
    • How many customers walked through your door over a given time period (and who they were)
    • How many table reservations you booked, and how much you earn on average
    • When your customers start buying tickets to your event. or start arriving to your venue
    • Which staff members are bringing in the most guests (and biggest spenders)
    • Which marketing channels are and aren’t working for you

    You can experience a huge uptick to your bottom line after switching to a system backed by data. That’s because you know exactly what’s working and what doesn’t, which allows you to spend their money more wisely. You also improve your operations to get your guests in the door faster to get to the bar more quickly, resulting in increased bar sales. When you have absolute clarity on your venue’s performance, you can do even more to increase your success. Without data, you’re simply just guessing and could be leaving a lot of money on the table.



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    The 3 Things Your Bar or Nightclub Needs in 2018

    Here we are already in 2018, which means it’s prime time to reflect on the past year and gear up for an even better new year. This could be daunting, time-consuming, and overwhelming, which is why we want to take a step back and make things simple by focusing on one theme: knowledge.


    We believe every bar and nightclub should have the knowledge of who their guests are, how they got there, what they’re doing, and how they’re affecting your business. That’s why in 2018, we’re putting our focus on gathering as much information from as many places as possible and presenting it in one concrete area. We want to do the complicated part so you have simplistic knowledge. We’re doing that by ensuring our customers have their three core data hubs set up:

      1. ID Scanning to get knowledge from the first point of entry
      2. POS Integration to gather knowledge on what’s happening inside
      3. CRM System to make that knowledge actionable and profitable



    We understand there are many things you need to run your venue, but these three are the core of what you need to have the knowledge to be successful in 2018. Here’s how.

    1. ID Scanning

    You already ID and verify each person that walks through your door. Take this a step further with license scanning technology that not only scans and verifies each person, but also collects data on each person to build your guest database. This is the only way to know who came into your venue each and every night, complete with your gender breakdown, where your customers are coming from, your age breakdown, and which customers are repeat vs first-time customers. You also have access to your digital 86 list as well as a city-wide ban list to keep your venue safe. This tool acts as your guide in better decision making for a process that was already mandatory. And with a solution like Vēmos – ID Scan, all of this is combined with your CRM system and analytics section to truly have that understanding of your whole business.

    2. POS Integration

    Speaking of uncovering your true performance, having your point of sale integrated into your operations system is an extremely powerful move. Now, not only do you have the ability to track your VIP table spend automatically, but you also gain insight on your entire bar. “But I can already do that,” you say? Sort of. The reality is POS systems are not in the business of providing their customers with great analytics; they focus on providing a great user experience for your bartenders during the night. Integrating your POS system takes that data and provides you with true analytics that allow you to better understand how your entire venue did rather than just a segment. It can also tie to your CRM system to give insight on personalized spending. With Vēmos, all of this data is automatically collated to show you where you won and where you missed.

    3. CRM System

    All of this comes back to individualized data. After all, the new name of the game is experience, and personalized experience at that. You can’t provide your guests with personalized experiences if you don’t know who they are. Sure, you may know your top regulars who always come in. And while they’re important, the other hundreds of guests are equally as important to your business. The only way to capture this information is to have all your data tied back to your CRM system. This is what allows you to know each of your customers on a personal level — from how often they come, to how much they spend, to their specific preferences. You can then use this data to filter your guests into like-minded groups to send targeted messages specifically to them. Now you’re able to provide a complete circle of personalized service both online and in-person.


    These three tools are the core of what accelerates your capabilities. Having technology a part of your venue is no longer just about a reservation management system. It’s about a comprehensive appraoch that provides you with the knowledge of your venue as a whole. With ID Scanning, POS integration, and a CRM system at your core, you now have the capabilities of providing that personalized service previously only available to the likes of Amazon. Safeguard your venue, target sharper, spend smarter, and create an unbelievable experience for every person walking through your door.

    Gearing Up for NYE 2018

    New Year’s Eve is the biggest event of the year, but it’s also the most competitive. A lot of venues start selling tier 1 tickets as early as late September, and sell out of those tier 1 tickets by end of October. That’s why it’s important to get a head start and get your event planned out so you can have a successful and profitable night.

    Follow these 7 tips to ensure a successful New Year’s Eve party.

    1. Publish Your Event Now

    You need an event page, and you need it to be launched now. This gives you time to market your event and attract customers so they can start making their plans around your party. It’s important to have a section of your website or a specific landing page dedicated to your event. Simply having a sentence description on a third-party ticketing company’s website isn’t going to cut it. People want to know the vibe of your party, understand why they should attend, and get a gage at what they can expect by attending. Plus, having your own page allows for greater SEO opportunities, allowing guests to find out about your event in search results.

    It’s also important to make sure customers can buy tickets directly on your website and aren’t redirected to a third-party. Redirects oftentimes lead to cart abandonment, and you can lose out on that customer’s data. Work with a ticketing company that’s built for nightlife events and integrates with your site for the best user experience and to collect the most data to fill your guest database.

    2. Do an Exclusive Pre-Launch

    Experience is everything, and it’s what drives your customers to be loyal. Your customers are looking for a personalized experience, especially those that attend on the regular. Consider doing a pre-launch with the customers who have come to your venue throughout the year with an exclusive release before launching your tickets to the public. Reach out to them either via text or email and give them preferential treatment on tables and tickets. This is going to make a big impression on your most loyal customers, and it’s going to drive them to plan their night out with their friends at your event.

    3. Use Your Data

    Data matters more than you realize. It’s what allows you to understand what does and doesn’t work to set you up for success. Use last year’s data to understand which channels brought in the most guests, and replicate that. If you don’t have access to last year’s data, it’s time to start looking into systems like Vēmos that allows you to access all of your information in one central spot.

    One of the most important pieces of data you’ll want to track is your marketing channels. You need to track where your customers are finding you and why they’re choosing your event over others. To do this, assign specific links to each channel and staff member. Then, use those links on your various channels (i.e. a different link for Facebook, Twitter, third-party media, digital ads, etc). Also make sure your staff is using their personal link when they promote your event so they get credit. The results will inform you of what you should and shouldn’t be spending your time and money on.

    4. Leverage Marketing Channels

    Once your tickets are set up and your trackable links are in order, it’s time to start promoting. Keep in mind it takes an average of 7 touchpoints before consumers consider purchasing, so you’ll want to get in front of them sooner than later. Make sure you use multiple forms of communication across various channels to increase the cycle of those touchpoints and to engage your customers faster. Here are a few things for you to consider:

    • Set up your social channels to be in line with your event by updating your images and post cadence
    • Add an events section on your Facebook page that gives full information about your NYE event, and integrate your ticketing page into your Facebook fan page for people to buy tickets directly through social
    • Consider contests or ticket giveaways to build engagement and interaction
    • Run Facebook ads to target a specific segmented audience
    • Get your promoters engaged and turn them into a mobile box office
    • Leverage partnerships with third-party outlets, such as your booked entertainment, sponsors, key social influencers, and media outlets. Partner with them and have them promote your event on your behalf

    When you get your marketing channels to work together, you’ll have a bigger audience reach and a higher likelihood of selling out before your event happens.

    5. Incentivize Guests to Purchase Tickets Early

    Encourage people to pre-purchase their tickets by creating supply and demand. Showing them your price will increase as the event gets closer creates demand for the few supply of early bird tickets. You can set your tickets to increase price by the week, day or even hour leading up to your event. You can also set your tickets to increase by quantity after x amount of tickets are sold. This encourages people to buy early and have time to share their plans with others. Plus, when guests pre-buy their tickets, you’re generating revenue before the night of your event, helping you cover costs before your event even happens.

    6. Stay on Top of VIP Table Guests

    Your VIP guests are important, and you want to make sure they’re not getting lost in the shuffle of general admission purchases. For New Year’s Eve, we recommend pre-selling tables, either in full or with a deposit. That way, you can have a gauge of your table inventory and number of VIP guests you can expect. It also helps mitigate your no-show rate the night of the event. During the night, make sure you set up your door to handle tables through a different entrance and check-in process. Now, your highest spenders are getting exclusive treatment right off the bat. Also make sure your staff knows to keep an eye on how many people are sitting at each table. During a hectic night, it’s easy to overlook a party of 10 actually brought 20 people with them. And as a result, you just lost out on payment for 10 extra people. That’s one of the easiest ways venues lose money on New Year’s Eve and other big event nights. Having a separate entrance and a reservation system that ties to your events/ticketing system will help alleviate this issue.

    7. Set Up Safety and Compliance Procedures

    It’s easy to lose sight of safety and compliance when preparing for the busiest night of the year. Yet, New Year’s Eve is typically the night where people over consume, which accounts for the highest amount of emergency room visits. Work with your bartenders to make sure they know when to stop serving overly intoxicated guests. Get on board with an ID Scanning system to reduce your liability. Better yet, use an ID Scanning system like Vēmos that syncs with your database, helps to detect fake and invalid IDs, manages your digital 86 list, and syncs with a city-wide ban list so you know who you should and shouldn’t let into your venue. It may no the the fun part of New Year’s Eve, but it’s important to mitigate your liability on this busy night.


    Last but not least, make sure all your staff is up and running on the same system and strategy for smooth operations. All the small details matter, and t’s what leaves a lasting impression with your guests. Cheers to your successful New Year’s Eve event and hosting a fun party for your guests to ring in 2017.

    Navigating the Personalization Shift

    Your customers have gotten accustomed to the savviness of online businesses sending recommendations based on past habits and reminders based on timing. It’s personal. It’s experience-driven. And now they’re driving that change within nightlife. They expect personalized service, and are making decisions on where to go because of it.

    Now it’s your turn to navigate this shift and provide the personalized experience they have come to expect. But how do you do it? The best thing you can do is find a system that encompasses all areas of your operations into one dashboard. This is what allows you to see transparent data across sections as well as get deep insight on all your guests. When you use separate tools for each area (ex: one system for reservations, another for tickets, another for gueslist, etc), you’re only getting a chunk of the picture. Data lives separately and you only see information on some of your guests, not all of them. And that makes all the difference when keeping up with this personalization shift.

    Here are a few core tools you’ll need to set yourself up for success, followed by recommendations on how to get your staff to execute.

    1. Guest Database

    A survey conducted by Accenture discovered that 85% of their participants are willing to provide their information to trusted retailers in exchange for targeted, personalized information. Use this to your advantage. Your customers are not only willing to give their information to you, but they’re conditioned to do so. This is especially true when pre-purchasing items online. There are systems specifically for the nightlife industry that are built with your guest database at the core. Now, you can use guest list, ticketing, or reservation forms on your site so your guests not only begin to buy in advance (note: more guaranteed revenue), but also so that you can collect their information and have it sync back to their profile in your database.

    You can also capture this information during your night at your door using a digital ID Scanning system. That way, you’re able to safeguard your venue by having a tool to help check IDs as well as collect data on every customer that walks through your doors. And when you connect this to your point of sale system, you’re able to unearth even more valuable information. This means you have a database of all your guests, including their name, contact info, how many times they’ve been to your venue, whether they’re a VIP/guest list/event/general admission customer, how much money they’ve spent, and what their most popular drink purchases are.

    2. Segmented Marketing

    With your database, you now have a complete buyer persona for all your target customer segments, including demographic, geographic, and psychographic information. This means you have the opportunity to get personal with your marketing. You can send a specific message catered to a specific group of people, such as sending a birthday text message to anyone celebrating a birthday this week and inviting them to celebrate with you. Or you can target customers who have attended a certain event in the past, and send them an exclusive invitation to an upcoming similar event before tickets are released to the public. Making your customers feel like you know what’s happening in their life, or like you understand their interests, is what makes your messages personal and powerful. They’ll feel like insiders and will naturally establish a deeper connecting with your venue. This also helps to make sure the time and money you’re spending on your marketing is spent wisely and giving you a return on investment.

    3. Staff Execution

    Your personalization shouldn’t stop at marketing. You can and should keep this experience going the second your customer gets to your door. That’s where staff execution comes into play. Remember, technology is a tool to help your staff raise the level of their service; it doesn’t replace your staff’s efforts. Make sure you train your staff on your system so everyone is using it correctly and know what cues to use to raise their level of personalization. Greet your guests by name when they arrive. If you see that a customer is a regular general admission customer who comes to your venue every week, upsell them to a VIP table and provide a complimentary bottle of champagne as a thank you. Or, offer them their first round of their favorite drink on the house at the bar. This costs you very little, but means a lot to them. It’s a simple gesture that’s perceived by the guest as a premium, highly personalized level of service. It shows that person how much they are valued and entices them to stay longer, spend more, bring more friends, and come back more often.

    Treating guests like the individuals they are and catering your experience to their needs isn’t hard. All it takes is a system that captures all your information in one place, your staff to use that system so it automatically pulls necessary information on the guests walking through your door, and your ability to execute on providing that exclusive experience. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference to your guests and brings the biggest dollar to you.With all of this at play, you’re able to spend smarter, target sharper, and create an unbelievable experience for every person walking through your door.

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